PepsiCo blows away earnings forecasts, raises 2021 outlook

PepsiCo’s (PEP) second quarter earnings release is going down easy for investors. 

The beverage and snacks giant — widely expected by analysts to have a strong quarter as economies globally re-open from the pandemic — blew away forecasts across the board. Total revenue rose 20.5% from a year ago, powered by strong double-digit sales gains in PepsiCo’s North America beverage, Latin America, EU and Africa businesses. Sales rose by 6% each in the Frito Lay North America and Asia Pacific divisions. 

Sales at Quaker Foods North America dropped 14% from last year when U.S. shoppers were stocking up on packaged food at the start of the pandemic. Operating profits grew at a faster rate than organic sales (a key comparison for PepsiCo analysts) at the Frito Lay North America, North American Beverages, Latin America and Africa businesses. 

Here is how PepsiCo performed compared to Wall Street estimates for the second quarter:

  • Net Sales: $19.2 billion vs. $17.94 billion

  • Organic revenue growth: +12.8% vs. +7.4%

  • Operating Profits: $3.1 billion vs. $2.85 billion

  • Diluted EPS: $1.72 vs. $1.53

  • Outlook 2021: +6% increase in organic revenue (previous: mid-single digit percentage increase); +11% increase in core EPS (previous: high-single digit percentage increase in core constant currency EPS

PepsiCo shares rose 2% in pre-market trading.

As a sweetener for investors, PepsiCo took the wraps off a new $1 billion cost-cutting plan that will be run through 2026. 

The blowout quarter and new restructuring plan will likely cement the bull case widely held on the stock on Wall Street.

“PepsiCo enters FY21 from a strong position and is well equipped to outperform in a post COVID-19 environment,” Bank of America analyst Bryan Spillane said in a note ahead of the results. Spillane rates PepsiCo’s stock at a Buy with a $165 price target.

Programming note: PepsiCo Vice Chairman and CFO Hugh Johnston will be on Yahoo Finance Live at 9:00 a.m. ET today.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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